Put 'C' in CIO

Consider the progress on four seemingly unrelated initiatives:

Viewed as a group, these items create an unflattering picture of a bureaucracy that's
strangely out of sync with the mandates and policies under which it should be operating. A
closer look shows a bureaucracy operating under competing forces it can't control.

Clearly, both OMB and Congress want to solve the year 2000 crisis, but both have been
stingy with funds. In the case of electronic records maintenance, it was a lawsuit filed
by a Ralph Nader organization that forced agencies into a scramble for an acceptable

It's an old story that's leading us into the new century. Laws and mandates are fine as
far as they go, but they are meaningless unless agencies have the authority and tools to
enforce them. So until CIOs have a little more chief in their jobs, many problems will go

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